Posts Tagged ‘psychology of creativity’

Creativity: The Essence of Being Australian

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Creativity is at the core of all human endeavour. It’s what makes us keep searching for new ideas and innovations, and is what got us standing up and leaving our cave dwelling existence in the first place.

Creativity in the workplace is essential. At a macro level creativity drives innovation, and it’s innovation that drives expansion and development of industry and economy. At a micro level, every individual in the workplace can be more productive, happy and effective if they apply creativity to problem solving, team dynamics and management, and their general work and work/life balance.

There has been a tendency in Australia to marginalise the word “creativity”. As a society, we have been guilty, I think, of using it almost as a pejorative term, and to see it as something outside the mainstream. We have tended to think of it as being associated only with the arts, or with advertising, or with people who wear “funny clothes” and are generally not quite “like us”. But this is to trivialise creativity, and not understand what it really is, and to miss the point as a growing and dynamic society, to our detriment.

Australians are probably known for loving sport and straight-talking, and for being suspicious of the more “airy fairy” which we’ve historically associated with a perceived pretention in arts, culture and intellectualism. We pride ourselves on a straightforward and egalitarian approach. And we are proud we’ll “have a go” with a minimum of fuss (No worries, Mate!).

“Having a go” is at the heart of what creativity is. Creativity allows you to make something from nothing, to look at something in a different way, to make the most of limited resources, to try something new and to solve problems. I would have thought that Australians, with our “No worries, Mate” attitude, unconsciously apply creativity very well, and fundamentally.

Surely it was this attitude, and it’s underlying basis in creativity, that recently got us through the Global Financial Crisis so well, that allowed us to stage such an inspiring, beautiful and deeply touching Sydney Olympic Games, that underlies our worship and reverence of the physical poetry of Don Bradman’s game, and that’s enabled us to have created (against all odds!) a dynamic, culturally diverse and sophisticated society from a convict settlement in just over 200 years.

Surely, creativity is at the heart of what it means to be Australian? To be prepared to “have a go” is to be creative.

In Australia, visitors tell us this all the time. While they expect the geographical, physical beauty of Australia, they don’t expect our joy, our sophisticated society, our straight-forwardness, and they are surprised that we’ve made something so complex yet unpretentious from very little and in such a short time. Isn’t this why Oprah Winfrey was so shocked and so over-come recently by the surprise and wonder of Australia? And isn’t this why we can say, “We created this – we made it with our own hands and our own thoughts”?

So if Australians, and the Australian culture generally, harness the essence of creativity without even knowing it, how much more could be achieved, individually and as a society, if we started to recognise it properly, and to apply it intentionally?

What a society we could be, and what an economy we could create!

Lynette Jensen

Please click on the heading above to leave a comment or to share. More posts below.